For those of you who use Twitter, you should search the hash tag #polmh and you’ll see a useful discussion this evening loosely around policing and mental health. I wanted to record something of a summary of what (for me, at least) was a fairly chaotic thread of tweets!
We had contributors from the following backgrounds or categories:
- Service users – most importantly! After all, this is why we’re here.
- Adult mental health nurses.
- Learning disabilities nurses.
- Various third-sector reps.
- Police officers.
- Mental health law trainer.
- MH advocates.
- NHS Security professionals.
- Victim Support.
The discussion kicked off with a starter based around, “What are the barriers to patient centred partnership working?” and got going initially about SLAs and respect for patients. During a wide-ranging discussion, there were various themes emerging, arising from which people seemed to agree on the need to improve the following areas of business:
- The respect, patience and tolerance for patients in need; also their carers and families.
- The legal knowledge of professionals involved in a decision-making: indeed various professionals were correcting others as the debate went along(!) and people were commenting that they learned a lot from the event.
- The need for managers in all organisations to recognise the value of joint training, whereby police, AMHPs, nursing staff get quality training led by or involving service users.
- The need for the police to improve their response to criminal offences against NHS staff and other patients who are assaulted.
- The need for joint operating protocols to minimise a certain amount of localism where it takes things to the point where forces have several different arrangements which affect their consistency.
I hope that others found, as I did, that it was a worthwhile event and there seems to a consensus to do it again. I keep coming back to this; the way that we learn about each other’s perspectives is to spend time understanding and asking and debating. If social media can contribute to this happening less formally then it’s worthwhile for that reason alone.
It feels like it should empower every one of us to go into work tomorrow and push for better arrangements with a new energy.